Sunday, August 24, 2008

text message cop outs

technology is a blessing, technology is a curse. in the dating world...i'm more inclined to go with the latter. before the advent of text messaging, a person used to have to call if they were interested. now, they can just send a mass text message to the numbers they collected in a successful evening and see who responds. something non-descript like "hey cutie, what's up? great meeting you last night, we should get together sometime," and see who responds.

some people also use this tactic as a means to clean out their phone of numbers that they don't recognize. i just delete numbers if i don't recognize the name, which is not always the best course of action. some of those people were in there so that i remember NOT to respond if i see their number appear, i'm going to just start changing the name to "do not answer." what spurred this post? there is always a catalyst, i don't blog for nothing! here is the transcript:

anonymous txter: "hey cutie, how you doin"

me: "who's number is this?"

anonymous txter: "what's yo myspace?"

me: "who is this."

anonymous txter: "benjamin"

me: "we've already established that we don't know each other, so why don't you delete my number and you can stop trying to figure out who i am."
(after i saw the name, i realized that this dude has tried this before)

benjamin: "Man if I got you in my fone I must kno you. That's y I ask wut yo myspace. So I can at least see a pic of you. I jus getting to I got u in my fone and don't kno"

me: "well i don't have you in my phone."

benjamin: "Can I get a pic"

me: "where are you even from?"
(i googled the area code, so i already know this...houston)

benjamin: "houston"

me: "well, i live in arizona, so i don't even know where we would have met."

benjamin: "Wuts yo myspace"

me: "we probably met in a club or something and never talked, it obviously wasn't that deep, so let's leave it at that."

benjamin: "That's not nice but u got it"

me: "No it's not, but what's the point."

benjamin: "I jus want see a pic of u and then I kno wut it is then"

me: "well i don't know you, so i'm sticking with my original answer."

benjamin: "I guess dats it den"

me: "yeah guess so. peace."

obviously i must've given this guy my number and don't remember or it was so long ago that i forgot. either way, after the first time he tried it he, should have given up. i have now saved his number in my phone: "do not respond." fellas, if you don't know the number, just delete it; don't try and get the myspace page, that is so lame.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

calm down tomcat, i didn't kill your girlfriend

there is a family of stray cats that roams my apartment complex like they own the place. i can usually find them sunning on my patio or scavenging for food. one day i saw the female cat laying out on my porch, and thought nothing of it. day two, same position...i'm thinkin she's dead. a quick check confirmed this, and then the "not my responsiblity" game began.

first, i called my landlord, who said i should call the humane society, and they said i had to call animal control who told me (after 45 minutes on hold) that they didn't do dead animal pick up and referred me to a third party contractor who told me that i would have to pay for the removal of said dead animal since it died on my patio instead of "community property." i didn't want the cat laying out there collecting germs, so i paid the animal pick up fee and notified my landlord so they could reimburse me only to find out..."not their responsiblity." argh.

so the following day i am going out on to my patio, and the Tom cat is near the place where his lady died, he looked up at me with hate in his eyes, the kind that said "i know what you did, and you'll pay for this." but i didn't do it! i didn't kill his girlfriend, she just died on my patio :- he has not returned to my patio since, but i see him stalking around the complex and he always stops and gives me that same death look. if i turn up missing, please put out the APB: black tom cat, white paws.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

what's in a name?

have you ever uttered the sentence: "funny, he/she doesn't look like a ?" i met a (black) man named shamus with a last name that is equally irish. it set me to thinking. our parents (presumably) carefully select a name that will reflect who we are, or who they would like us to become. i did not have a name for the first week or so of my life. my mother wanted to see what type of personality i had instead of giving me a name and hoping that it fit. i was "bright eyed and bushy tailed" to hear her tell it, and emerged into the world curious and ready for something new, so she named me Eshe, Swahili for "life." how much of who we are is determined by the name that we carry?

i have often met people who didn't seem to match their names. i have known certain names where the bearers share similar characteristics (i would never name a child bertha). many a person has renamed themselves upon reaching adulthood because they felt mismatched with their given name. there is a certain power in naming something. a thought, a feeling, person can seem intangible until you give it a name. on several occasions, i have struggled to find the words to convey an emotion, and once i found them, i felt more at peace. God gave man the great responsibility of naming all that he had created. are people trapped in the wrong name doomed to a life of feeling out of place? it must be terrible to wake up every day feeling...not yourself.

if you can speak things into being, and i believe that words carry weight well beyond what we are willing to admit, then by haphazardly naming a child, a parent does them a great disservice. we spend so much of our lives trying to find ourselves, that adding a name mismatch to the equation is just cruel. to all people: choose your words carefully, and to the parents: name your children wisely.

"Well then, if i'm a Namer, what does that mean? What does a Namer do?...When I was memorizing the names of the stars, part of the purpose was to help them each to be more particularly the particular star each one was supposed to be. That's basically a Namer's job. Maybe you're supposed to make earthlings feel more human."

--Meg/Cherubim, A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle

Monday, June 16, 2008

dj snobbery

i am just going to go ahead and admit it. i am a dj snob. unapologetically so. i don't care if a place is empty, if i'm loving the dj, it's a great night. i have lived in arizona for almost three years now, and i have yet to be impressed with any of the local disc jockeys. that's right, i called them by their full names, isn't that what your parents do when you aren't acting right? because these folks are not (acting right).

i always know when the dj is good because i don't leave the dance floor, i pass out from exhaustion when i get home, and my body hurts the next day from working it out all night. if i hear an entire song, it had better be something so hot that it's going to blow up the air waves in a month (because good djs play music you haven't heard on the radio) or it had better be the end of the night! if my hips stop moving or i have to pause and catch the beat, you, mr. dj, are NOT doing your job! and the cardinal sin of djing is dead air. not the "oh no, the speaker went out" or "the power just died" dead air, the "i waited too long to cue up a record, and the previous song has come to and end" dead air. a dj should not just be a glorified record player, he (or she!) should be an artist, like the french say it.

i want to hear more than 2 songs in ten minutes, i want to hear songs i forgot existed but love so much that i dance too hard on some random dude and then have to escape when he asks for my number. i don't want to have to ask the dj to "play my song," because i want to be too busy having a good time to notice that he hasn't. my hope for the summer, is to find that elusive great night. the one where i walk to my car with a happy glow (you know, the sweat sheen from dancing too hard), shoes in hand because my feet hurt so good, and on my way to some late night after the club food because i have burned enough calories to earn a post game meal. i've got two months, let the quest begin...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

men behaving badly

typically, i try to give people the benefit of the doubt. i am beginning to rethink that practice, especially where men are concerned. now, before you condemn me with your diatribe of "here goes another bitter woman," permit me to explain myself. i have several married male friends with whom i hang on occasion. one of these friends constantly laughs at me for saying that married guys are "safe." i believe in the sanctity of marriage, so my assumption is that when a married man says "let's grab lunch" that is all he means.

i went to an art show with one of my married friends, and we stopped for a bite to eat beforehand. while we were dining, he casually tells me that he has divorced his wife, stating "i didn't want you to feel strangely about spending time with me." yeah, i didn't, until he told me he'd divorced his wife! he then ended our outting by inviting me to a game of one on one basketball, needless to say, i never took him up on the invitation, i just felt strangely about the situation. fast forward to this past weekend.

i was doing my civic duty, registering voters and getting people to sign up for the early voter list. each person was supposed to walk their houses with a partner. i am minding my business when a very attractive man approaches and asks if i'm already partnered, i'm not. he asks me where i'm from and it turns out we are both new mexicans! we chat about loving to travel and the importance of community and civic engagement, and then he says "where were you when i was single?!" hold the phone. this sneaky sneaky so-and-so! there were a TON of other people there he could have partnered with, now i'm stuck with the married guy! to make matters worse, he called me "sexy shoulder girl" and at the end of our walking, he gave me his number and told me to call him if i was "going to be doing any more organizing."

so from now on, married men are no longer in the safe category. i don't want any angry wives chasing me down, that i can do without.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

healthy living: because you aren't getting any younger!

my company has a voluntary health and wellness program. each year, you can get your vital stats taken and evaluated with a health care professional, AND you get $50 for doing it!

when is the last time you had a physical? how frequently do you exercise your body? how often do you drink? how are your sleep habits? are you a smoker? do you want to have children? as we approach our 30s these vital stats become so much more important. society may have changed; 30 may be the new 20, but our bodies have not evolved to accommodate the lifestyle. the damage we do today, will now have much greater consequence than it would have in our 20s. we heal slower, and gradually become more fragile.

the simple fact of the matter is, we cannot afford to play fast and loose with our bodies and our health. if we live long enough, one day, we will be old. the life expectancy of adults in developed countries has increased by at least 10 years due to modern medicine, however, quality of life has decreased. yes, people are living longer but they are sicker. prevention is the best thing we can do to stave off disease in old age. it has to become a habit. making conscious decisions about our health should be as much a part of the life plan as that next career move! don't think you can do it? i did, and here's (an abbreviated version of) how...

in 2004, i noticed that i would wake up feeling like i wanted to vomit every morning. i also had stomach problems throughout the day. my mother and father raised our family using holistic medicine (tiger claw, acupuncture, detoxes, etc.), so i began looking at my diet. what was i eating? i loved cereal, and i usually had a bowl before i went to bed. i switched to soy milk. within two weeks, i stopped waking up nauseous! in the past several years, i have made many changes in the way that i live. i have been a vegetarian my whole life, but i have become much more aware of the things i put into my body. from my lotions to hair products, foods to medicines, i began reading more about nutrition. the pesticides used in farming, hormones in livestock, carcinogens in beauty products...i vowed to go organic.

the first step was to was phase out dairy and eggs. i was never a fan of eggs as it was, the texture and smell always turned my stomach, so that one was easy. i switched to sea salt, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. i stopped buying canned vegetables, i began studying the vitamins and properties of foods, buying whole grains, and reading labels. some books that helped me along the way: "choose your foods: like your life depends on them" by dr colleen huber, and "the detox miracle sourcebook" by robert morse.

i graduated high school weighing 117. when i started college, i ate a lot of breads and pastas, my papa johns pizza bill at the end of my freshman year was $200+. my late night eating habits, and carb heavy diet (without enough corresponding exercise to burn it) kept me between 130-135 throughout undergrad. i'm only 5'2" so 10-15 pounds on someone my size makes a big difference :-) my father pinched my cheeks when i came home for christmas break and told me "you've got a little butter on you baby!" not funny.

after graduation, i didn't do much differently, but i was living on my own, buying my own food, and without any effort, i'd dropped down to 125. at that time, i had stopped drinking carbonated beverages. i began to make additional changes to my diet in 2006: only natural sweeteners (i.e. no high fructose corn syrup!), buying fresh foods without preservatives: i now shop more frequently. i only buy what i need as it will go bad faster, and if i'm not going to use it before it does, i cut it up and freeze. and i only drink water and fresh fruit juices...and the occasional mixed drink (caution drinkers, most alcoholic beverages are high in carbs, they don't call it a beer belly for nothing!).

i knew that if i was changing what i was putting into my body, i also needed to pay attention to what i was putting ON to my body. i got rid of my shampoos and conditioners, started buying all natural and organic versions, and i stopped using chemicals on my hair. i am currently looking for a quality makeup line to replace my old cosmetics, since i've stopped wearing makeup and changed my facewash (amande pomme apple from l'occitane), i don't get breakouts anymore (i had been thinking about going to see a dermatologist). my moisturizers (almond-aloe from earth science and alba daily shade) are all natural with spf 15+, and i just started buying green cleaning products.

to complete "the trifecta," i wanted to be more consistent about working out. moving to arizona really spurred my exercise regimen, i didn't have to be indoors to work out! i joined a volleyball team, i can go hiking on weekends and i love to run outside. i made a commitment to myself to work out 3 days a week, no matter what. i bought a bike in 2005, and ride it anywhere in a 5 mile radius of my home, which includes to an from work every day. 2 months ago, i purchased a nike+ personal trainer to help track my running and it has made a difference in my motivation. i set time and distance goals, and challenge myself. today, i am ~118, ~21% body fat, and working toward my second half marathon, the nike marathon in san francisco! i love feeling good and being proud of my body, and the pool parties are always a source of motivation.

i challenge you to start by taking these small steps: get a physical, and some blood work. know your cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and percent body fat. talk with your doctor about what those numbers mean, and about your lifestyle choices. identify those that may put you at risk for disease in old age, and then...change them.

my stats:

Your Current Medical Biometric DataResultsRecommended Level
Blood Sugar (Glucose)84 mg/dLLess than 100 mg/dL (fasting)
Less than 140 mg/dL (nonfasting)
Your total Cholesterol level149 mg/dLLess than 200 mg/dL
Your LDL Cholesterol level78 mg/dLLDL : Less than 100 mg/dL
Your HDL Cholesterol level59 mg/dLHDL : Greater than 40 mg/dL
Triglycerides60 mg/dLLess than 150 mg/dL (fasting)
Blood Pressure108/58Less than 120/80 mmHG
Height5 feet 2 inch(es)N/A
Weight118 lbsN/A
BMI - Body Mass Index21.5801 Kg/meter squaredBMI : 18.5-24.9
Body Fat %21.3Men less than 25% Women less than 32%

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ain’t I A Woman?

Thoughts on receiving an abnormal pap and waiting for biopsy results.

Sojourner, I feel your words.
is womanhood only in my womb?
Is femininity defined only by my ability to bring life?
lately, I’ve been thinking twice
what if my body is a tomb

if I am like infertile ground, unable to bear fruit,
ain’t I a woman?

If no seed will ever take root...
ain’t I a woman?

Suddenly I am aware of my 27 years
3 years from 30
My mind is trying to calm the fears
That only one heart will ever beat within me
That I will never have a biological copy

If I never suffer labor pains,
ain’t I a woman?

If no child will carry on my name,
ain’t I a woman?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a case of mistaken identities

last night, i found out that a high school friend of mine passed away. i received a message informing me that she had been in a car accident and did not survive. i was crushed. although we had not kept in touch after high school, i would still run into her on occassion when i went home for family visits and it was always a pleasure.

i began to think back to our days in track when we hurdled together, and performing routines in flag corps. the sleep overs and the car washes, riding around in her classic cherry red volkswagon rabbit convertible, the silly jokes and fun times and i was genuinely hurt. i thumbed through my high school year book reading her message to me and thinking "how horrible to lose someone so young." i tried to find the words to offer my condolences to her family, her father -my hurdle coach, her sister who i was on student council with. i wished that her two young daughters wouldn't have to grow up without their mother.

i called my father, my sisters, my best friend and my mother to inform them of the sad news. i trolled the local newspaper to see if there was a listing for when the services would be held, and looked up a florist so that i could have an arrangement sent to her family first thing in the morning. i prayed for strength for her family, i wondered how it must feel for a parent to bury their child. it was just not the natural order of things. i went to bed with a heavy heart.

today, i received a message informing me that it was not my close high school friend, but a high school acquaintance of the same name who had died in the car accident. i have to say that i felt a mixture of relief and renewed saddness. was it wrong for me to feel that way? a mother still lost her child. she was still somebody's sister, somebody's friend. in 24 hours, i had gone through the cycle of loss and in finding out that it was due to a case of mistaken identities, i was still somewhat altered.

it made me think. of the friends and family whom i love that i try my best to reach out to on regular basis. it made me wonder. if for 24 hours i thought that any of them were dead, would i feel regret? would i cry for the things i should have done? for the words i should have spoken? for the moments i could have shared? i came to the conclusion that i would not.

there is not a friend i hold dear who does not know that i love them. i take advantage of every opportunity to let them know that they matter and that having them in my life is a blessing. my 24 hour lesson: many things in this world exist solely to distract us from what truly matters. focus on what's real.

in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.

-the beatles.

Monday, February 4, 2008

can we?

tomorrow is "super tuesday."

i sit at my computer wondering what i can write to convey the emotion that i feel... how can we expect change if we are not the catalyst? i have heard people say that they will vote for barack obama if he receives the presidential nomination, but not tomorrow. have we become so afraid to dream? from a very young age we are taught that statistically, the odds are not in favor of the dreamers. the first time you lose a love, the first time you try and fail, it hurts. and it never stops being hard to go out on a limb because the higher you climb, the more broken you will be if you fall. it is not easy to get back up and keep trying when you have constantly been knocked down, but happiness is not the absence of discomfort, it is the presence of joy. there are many things in my life that i am not proud of because of the cowardly route i have taken, but tomorrow will not be an addition to that catalog.

i will not stand idly by in this monumental moment in history because i thought that my voice did not matter. alone, maybe no one will hear me sing, but i am not alone. i am joining a chorus of voices that is loud and resounding and the message is: "yes we can." i say to those who will vote their heart in the general election, but not tomorrow that without tomorrow, there is no nomination.

nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change. we have been told we cannot do this by a chorus cynics. they will only grow louder and more dissonant. we have been asked to pause for a reality check. we have been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope, but in the unlikely story that is america, there has never been anything false about hope.
--senator barack obama

YES. WE. CAN. but not without you. vote.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

disappearing acts

and no, i'm not talking about that wack wesley snipes/sanaa lathan straight-to-lifetime disasterpiece, i'm referring to mysterious television character disappearances and re-castings. this thought was spurned when the other night, i was watching my wife and kids in syndication and this girl came downstairs. tisha campbell's character called her "claire." i was like...hold the phone, who is this??

obviously, claire was recast early enough in the series that i never knew there was an "original" claire. now this is a common occurrence on daytime soaps so i am never taken by surprise, but at least soap operas have the decency to know that their audience members are intelligent enough to NOTICE that there has been a casting change. soap operas always have a nice voice over talent say something like: "and now playing the role of victoria newman will be *actress nowhere near as heather tom's name here*" when the new actor appears. i appreciate that. these tv show cast changes are hiliarious. it's like one day somebody just disappears and they are never mentioned again and the plot keeps on moving without a second thought.

case in point: judy, little richie, aunt rachael and grandma on family matters. it started with judy, but by the end of that show, nobody was safe. it was "the urkel show." don't remember judy? she was the pointless youngest child who couldn't fill the "cute as a button" role, wasn't "the stupid one" (eddie) or "the pretty one" (laura) so she had to go. in fact, upon further research, judy was recast from the pilot to the actual series run...doomed from the start.

just a random blog entry, it's been a while. i suppose i need to return to the blogosphere.